Finding existing data
Research Data Management Support can help you find existing data to build upon.
The advantages of using existing data
Universities, research institutes, funders and publishers require you to make your research data as reusable as possible. This also makes it possible for you to use the data of others. Before you start your project, find out if the data you need is already available or if similar data exists. Then evaluate if the existing data is sufficient to conduct or complement your research with. It is worthwhile to use existing data for several reasons:
- It can inspire you to do other measurements.
- You can do a meta-analysis at the end of your project.
- You could save valuable time by not having to collect data and expand your research focus.
- Existing data can save you lots of time in optimising your specific study design or by simply reusing it.
Watch the tutorial underneath to get started:
Six ways to discover existing data
Additional to the search engines dealt with in the tutorial, here are some more tips to search for existing data yourself:
- Search specific databases for research data. At re3data.org many are listed.
- DataCite Search and OpenAire are two international search engines specifically for academic and scientific research.
- NARCIS is the portal for research data from Dutch universities.
- Use Google Dataset Search or Google Advanced Search.
- Elsevier offers DataSearch (Beta) to search in a collection of data repositories
- Zanran allows you to search the internet for graphs and tables embedded in documents.
- Large institutes such as CBS, WHO or the government also collect and provide useful data.
- Search scientific literature and check if supplementary data is available.
- has expertise in finding reusable datasets you can use to expand your research focus;
- can provide you with tips for proper reuse.